Piaggio Fast Forward Launches Gita, a ‘Follow Me’ Mobile Robot
October 15, 2019      

BOSTON – Piaggio Fast Forward today launched its all new gita robot, a mobile robot that can follow people on the go, with the ability to tote up to 40 pounds of belongings, including items such as groceries, a gym bag, backpack, and other items. The robot, with a retail price of $3,250, will be available on Nov. 18, the company said. Interested consumers can sign up at the mygita.com website to receive exclusive notifications on how to place an order in advance of the public launch.

“PFF was founded to create lifestyle-transforming mobility solutions, allowing people to move with greater freedom in their neighborhoods. With the gita robot, our first product, we’re thrilled to see that vision come to life,” said Greg Lynn, CEO and co-founder at PFF. “From students to working professionals, new parents to grandparents, gita empowers people of all ages to more actively enjoy their surroundings, and to interact with their communities in a more meaningful way.”

gita piaggio fast forward robot

The gita robot is designed for one-button operation along with sounds and lights. Image: JAM Creative

The gita robot is operated with the push of a button, allowing it to sense its environment and pair with its “leader” to instantly roll behind them, in sync with their pace. The company said gita was designed “to move like humans move; with smooth, natural motion.” The robot can move at up to six miles per hour, the company added.

With three color choices available – Signal Red, Thunder Gray, or Twilight Blue – PFF said the gita robot can complement daily life with style. Beyond the design includes additional technology, including:

  • The ability to follow indoors or outdoors, operating on hard surfaces like sidewalks and paths – not snow, sand, mud, or tall grass. While it doesn’t climb stairs, the gita can move up and down slopes with up to a 16% incline.
  • A rechargeable battery that provides up to four hours of continuous operation. When depleted, the battery can recharge to its optimum power in under two hours by plugging the charger into a standard wall outlet.
  • Inside the robot, a discrete phone charging port can keep phones and other personal electronics charged.
  • At 50 pounds, the gita can be transported by car as long as its secured, allowing for hands-free movement “when exploring away from home.”

PFF said the robot was purposefully designed without screens or voice response – instead, it communicates via sound, light and touch. In collaboration with the Berklee College of Music, PFF said a library of distinct sounds was composed to communicate gita’s state, and in coordination with the robot’s color-coded lighting system. The sounds and lights are used to indicate when gita is powered up, when it’s ready to pair, or to inform about its battery level.

Enhanced features can be accessed through an optional mygita app, which provides tasks such as being able to share a gita with a “crew”, being able to lock and unlock the cargo bin lid, receiving notifications from gita to the phone, and to provide other app users access to the gita. The app can also stream and play audio through gita’s speaker through Bluetooth, providing users with a mobile sound system.

Human autonomy approach

PFF stressed that the robot is not autonomous – but rather that when it’s in motion, it’s following its leader. The goal, PFF said, is to provide humans, not machines, with greater autonomy. The gita robot uses visual sensors to track and follow, and doesn’t record photos or videos.

“PFF may be a robotics company, but we’re focused on revitalizing everyday human movement and social interconnections,” said Jeffrey Schnapp, chief visionary officer and co-founder of PFF. “By prioritizing healthy activity and social interaction, PFF is carving out a new category within the field of robotics: technology that moves the way people move and that augments human experiences rather than replacing or stifling them. With gita in tow, people are free to put down their screens, get moving and reconnect with the truly precious ‘cargo’ that shapes their lives: their partners, kids and friends.”